The day your baby starts eating solid foods is one of the most exciting things about being a parent. However, it’s not a walk in the park just yet, and it can become messy at its first try. Most babies can eat small amounts of solids at only 4 to 6 months old. And for about 9 to 11 months, you will notice that your baby prefers to munch on solids than drinking breastmilk and other baby drinks.
This huge transition can result in a nutritional gap. However, with the right supplements, you can keep this nutritional gap at bay and fill in your baby’s nutritional needs for their growth and development. Listed below are four supplements that are recommended for babies. Let’s check them out!
- Babies are born with iron that can last for up to 4 to 6 months. Pediatricians recommended that babies who are exclusively breast-fed are needed to be given an iron supplement at 4 months of age. It’s also best to have a trip to your healthcare provider so that they can guide you how long should you be treating your baby with an iron supplement as your baby begins on consuming iron-contained solid foods along the way.
- Children that are born with low birth weight is possible to have reduced iron stores. If that is the case, your healthcare provider will recommend iron supplements for your baby until it reaches 6 to 12 months old.
- However, if your infant is now fond of eating solid foods, then serving them with iron-rich foods such as meat, beans, or iron-filed breakfast cereals will help meet their iron needs to fight off iron deficiency. It’s a different story, however, for babies that are over 6 months old and are exclusively breastfed. Your health care provider will probably recommend an iron supplement for that matter.
- Vitamin D is crucial for bone development and preventing chronic diseases from happening. Low levels of Vitamin D are common for infants. Thus, a vitamin D supplement is usually recommended days after labor. When your baby starts consuming solids, add a dash of vitamin D in purees or smoothies that he/she can consume quickly.
- Before letting your baby consume fluoride, you need to check your local water supply on how much fluoride is present in there. There are fluoride prescriptions available on your local drugstores. But a trip to your baby’s healthcare provider is a must before anything else.
- The primary purpose of vitamin B12 is preventing anemia and supporting healthy neurological function. Vitamin B12 is mostly found in animal-based products such as fish, eggs, meat, and dairy. If you opt on letting your child have a plant-based diet, then a vitamin B12 supplement may be needed. Vegan babies that are formula-fed can get their dose of vitamin B12 from soy-based products. For vitamin B12 supplements, there are several over-the-counter infant vitamin drops that you can buy from medical drugstores as well as vitamin B12- fortified breakfast cereals and milk substitutes.
After all, it’s still advisable to ask for help and guidance from your baby’s healthcare provider before letting your baby take supplements. Keep in mind that not all babies are needed to take such supplements when they take their first steps in consuming solid foods. Lastly, don’t just stick to one only. Let your baby eat a variety of healthy foods to meet his/her nutritional needs.